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Vaginal discomfort - I suspect it's caused by IBS - Any advice?


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#1 Hilary B

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 05:43 AM

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It's all very embarassing talking about this, but hopefully you people reading this will understand, I don't feel like I can talk to my friends about it, it's all a bit too personal.I recently read a book on IBS which suggested that vaginal pain could be a symptom of IBS. I have had IBS for 8 years and during that time have found that I often have burning pains in my vulva and vagina and that it really hurts to have direct pressure on these parts and on the clit and that sex sometimes really hurts. We have to use lubricant as I am quite dry most of the time. Also just during the day I can have burning pains, which feels like an infection, I've got it today - can hardly bear to sit down. Several years ago I had quite a few gynaecological appointments and they found nothing wrong and said it was all in my head, which left me quite depressed, but discovering it could be linked to IBS has given me some new hope to finding some kind of cure that the doctors could not find (or could not be bothered to anyway).I just wondered if anyone else had had similar problems and if anyone had any suggestions for relieving the pain generally? and also during and after sex?Also does anyone use any particular products to bathe with as lots of things I find are too strong and irritate the whole area.


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#2 kazzy3

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 12:21 PM

Hi Hilary. I expierence vaginal pain occasionally myself. I don't think it's unusual. If your gyne has given you the ok, then you might try relaxing your vaginal muscles. There are some sites that offer ideas for pelvic muscle excercises. They might be worth checking out. It's true that the pelvic area can be painful during ibs flareups. I find that mine most often occur during ovulation or my period. It's so much fun being a girl, isn't it. Take care.

#3 BJ

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 05:47 PM

I really don't know if that's and IBS side effect or not.... I really haven't heard of anyone else bringing it up...Are you taking any medicine that may be effecting your hormones, and thus vaginal fluids? I take ortho tri-cyclen, and every since I started it, I have to use lubricant probably 80% of the time I have sex (and I'm only 20!). It was never like that before I got on the pill, and dryness is a side effect. If I don't use lube, it can be very painful. Also, I get very mild yeast infections about once a month. Usually right before my period, which also adds to the discomfort.I think the only thing I can really suggest is to use more lube. Maybe you need to try switching brands, as some have ingredients that commonly cause yeast infections, and can make you feel very dry and uncomfortable. Gelly ones like KY Jelly do this to me.Good luck and I hope it gets better soon!

#4 Hilary B

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 03:48 AM

Kazzy - thanks for the advice about the pelvic floor exercises - when and how often would you do them? Would you do them regularly or only when you feel pains?BJ - I am on the pill, but I took it before developing IBS and it was fine, so I don't think it's that. What other brands of lube are there apart from KY Jelly? - I use this at the moment and I was suspecting that it might be making things worse.

#5 nicole13

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 08:49 AM

hi. i would suggest going to different obgyns until you find a good one. it is so sad that a professional would give that type of answer. you should look into vulvodynia. it is a condition of the vulva where you have symptoms much like the ones you mentioned. usually the treatment includes antidepressants, i dont remember the details, but it is used not for your mental state but to deal with the pain you have mentioned. Please dont give up, and dont ever think you are imagininig things. i went through a similar experience. i started having vaginal yeast infections in the summer of 2000. for some reason they never went away for more than 2 weeks and in between active infections my vagina and vulva remained irritated, sensitive and inflamed. i went to 3 different obgyn and 2 pcp, they gave different vaginal creams and extended treatments of diflucan, but by june 2001 i still had symptoms, finally i found my present obgyn who was very compassionate and understanding, he told me that even though all my previous and present lab tests were negative for everything, i could still have a chronic yeast infection that wasnt showing up( EVEN THOUGH I FELT SENSITIVE AND IRRITATED, THE DOCTORS SAW NORMAL COLOR AND TEXTURE IN MY VAGINA AND VUVA 95% OF THE TIME THEY EXAMINED ME). so he gave a stronger longer combined treatment of diflucan and gynazole vaginal cream and my infections decereased. later on i found in late 2003 that i was lactose intolerant and realized myself that all dairy products were worsening my vaginal symptosm. if you need more info ill be glad to answer any questions. i understand what yur are going through and i know how hard it is when no one is there to undestand you and suport you. remember to ask your obgyn and look yourself up the word VULVODYNIA. im not a doctor, but i think this is what you may have. god bless you and remeber that you have have any questions or need support you can contact me.

#6 nicole13

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 09:05 AM

im sorry, i forgot to tell you that baking soda has worked for me to soothe my irritated skin. you can take about a teaspoon per eight ounces of water dilute it or make it a little stronger if you want. then rinse well, start out with a diluted wash then increase a little bit until you feel it works as well as soap to clean you. if it doesnt agree with your skin, then just stop it. please dont use anything scented or douches, they will most likely worsen your symptoms. try to find out if it works well enough for you, so you can stop using soap. it has worked well for me. i never have any anpleasent smells due to perspiration or normal vaginal discharge. i only use soap if and when i get my period, ( ihave pcos and dont get my period since going off the pill almost 6 months ago). hope this help. only use it on your vulva and never use this or anything else to clean or wash your vagina under any circumnstances. the vagina will clean itself out even after yuor period. only use douches if yur doctor recommends thme. sorry to write so much, but i know i always liked to get all the info possible when i was going through my ordeal and i guess you probably want detailed explanations.

#7 No. 1 Packer Fan

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 09:29 AM

I am so glad this thread is here! A little while back, I posted on the Diarrhea board about my symptoms, but no one really replied. Now I know I should have put it here. Here is what I wrote:
quote:
Hi everyone - I was wondering if any other women have had this. I have suffered from IBS-D for many years. Since I had my gallbladder out in October of 2004, the D has gotten somewhat worse. I am trying different things to deal with the D - about to start Questran. But the thing that has really been driving me crazy is that I keep getting these irritations in my private area - that for a long time I thought were yeast infections. I was treating this with over the counter remedies and they would seem to go away, only to reappear a few days or a week or so later. Sometimes I experience these 2 times a month. It started to occur to me that these irritations were possibly not yeast infections at all. It starts out as a stinging around the vaginal opening and anus, and then after a few days it starts to itch. I have recently stopped treating this and it goes away by itself in 3-5 days.What I'm starting to suspect is that this is not yeast, but bile irritation from having bouts of D. I can usually pinpoint the start of these irritations to my D blowouts, which usually last a day or two. The irritation seems to start shortly after I have had a bad day or two of D. I use hydrocortisone cream on the area to help with the itching and irritation. Does anyone else experience this? It's driving me a bit crazy.
Since then I have had another "infection" which I got rid of by using a different over the counter remedy. But I know it will be back. I have tried so many things that are recommended for yeast infections, but have never had diflucan. I guess it's time to get myself to the doctor for a discussion about this.Thanks Nicole for all your good advice. I'm going to try the baking soda.Has anyone ever tried acidophilus suppositories?Marty

#8 SpAsMaN*

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 11:25 AM

Extraintestinal symptoms:http://www.acg.gi.org/patients/gihealth/ibs.asp
quote:
What is the Irritable Bowel Syndrome? The irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder of bowel function (as opposed to being due to an anatomic abnormality). Patients who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome have changes in bowel habits such as constipation or diarrhea, and abdominal pain along with other symptoms including abdominal bloating, and rectal urgency with diarrhea. In addition, irritable bowel syndrome may be associated with a number of non-intestinal (“extraintestinal symptoms”), such as difficulty with sexual function (pain on intercourse or lack of libido), muscle aches and pains, fatigue, fibromyalgia syndrome, headaches, back pain, and sometimes urinary symptoms including urinary urgency, urinary hesitation or a feeling of spasm in the bladder.
Posted Image
---------------------------------
-->IBS INDUCED BY NSAIDS NAPROXEN
-->NSAIDS YOU SUCKS!!!
-Permanent discomfort/cecum&sigmoid stuck/trapped gas-
---->IBS-Type constipation normal transit time(diagnose with non-relaxing puborectalis december 2005)
--->Pubic nevralgia
***WORST PERMANENTLY SINCE RIFAXIMIN

#9 kazzy3

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 12:14 PM

Hi again Hilary. I would try doing them fairly regularly, it just may help. It may also be a good idea to find a new gyne, just to get a second opinion as someone suggested, but know that you are not alone, it is a common problem.

#10 nicole13

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 12:42 PM

HI no 1 packer fan, i dont know if your irritation is the same as my mine because when i do get anal itching or irritation is from the repeated wiping after d attacks and since we women have to pwipe in front, the vaginal irritation might be from repeated wiping if you wipe your vulva because you also urinate during each d attack. however, i think what i do may help you even if its not related. maybe you are having an allergic reaction to something. it could be your toilet paper, panyliners, tampons, menstrual pads, washing detergetn, soap, or anything that comes in contact with your vulva including contraceptives like condoms diaphrgam, vaginal film and suppositoies or personal lubricants, you could also have change in vaginal ph due to taking the birth control pill, or hormone replacemnt therapy or any other type or hormone you could be taking. the vagina is a very sensitve enviroment with million of organism that need to be in precise balance. sometimes a ny little disruption could cause a problem. i dont know anything about bile, but you might check out if you are lactose intolerant or if you are consuming a lot of dairy products even without having lactose intolerance, i know that sometimes dairy products might affect the vaginal ph and cause these symptoms without any apparent infection. a lot of sugar also can affect you, as well as too many simple carbohydrates like bread and pasta. i would tell you to follow the suggestions i gave hillary b, and also try to sleep without underwear if you dont have a heavy vaginal discharge, sometimes women have a vaginal discharge that is normal for them, but that is more abundant than most people and they always have to wear a pantyliner. another thing that might be alot of work, but helps a lot is using soft (white only) cloths to wipe the vaginal area after urination instead of toiltet paper. (of course you would have to wash this by hand daily and probably use more than one, try doing this untill the irritattion gets better).the little baby cloths that are used to bath them are very good, just make sure they are not hte terry cloth type( harsh like towels) because they might irritate you. try to find the kind that looks like old fashined cloth diapers or buy cloth diapers and cut them into smaller sections. also let your vulva air dry every now and then. you can take a shower and stand under a fan and let it dry just make sure the breeze hits you from far so as not to overdry your skin. hope these suggestions help anyone with similar conditions. i was a newlywed in 2002 and couldnt even be intimate with my husband on a regular basis , but thank god he has always been understanding. this is why i understand the suffering this is causing all of you.this affects your quality of life,and im taking the time to answer your questions in detail, so you might not have to suffer like i did. after months of research i have gathered all this info, mostly by memory because i lost everything when my pc got a virus. but if anyone needs to do their own research, they can try the following words: vulvar contact dermatitis, vaginal ph and dairy products, lactose intolerance and vaginal ph or vaginitis, probiotics and vagina or probiotics and vaginal infections, acidophillus and vaginitis or acidophilus and vaginal ph. one last suggestion, you could always try to eat yogurt, try to get the soy kind if not allergic to soy. otherwise try the regular ones, probiotics tend to be beneficial both for the vagina and instestinal flora, or you can try supplements. i take one or two pills a day. i buy natrol biobeads, they have 4 or 5 different probiotics instead of only acidophillus which is what most supplements have. it is a little more expensive than othe kinds, but it works great for me. today my yeast infections happen every 4 to 8 weeks with moslty no symptoms in between. going off the pill has helped a lot. but i find that if i eat dairy product even if they are lactose free and dont take the supplements my yeast infections come sooner and much more severe. hope this helps. i know i wrote a lot, but hopefully other people can benefit from my suggestions and i answered all of your questions.

#11 BJ

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 01:35 PM

quote:
What other brands of lube are there apart from KY Jelly? - I use this at the moment and I was suspecting that it might be making things worse.
There are several kinds on the market. You can find more of a variety in pharmacies like walgreens or Rite aid than at a wal-mart or kmart. Personally, I think Astroglide is probably the best & easiest to get ahold of (not the gel kind though, it's just like KY jelly). Right now i have "Wet" Original gel lubricant. Even though it says gel, it's very thin and silky, not globby and gross like KY. Plus, I always hated the smell of KY. I usually buy lube either from condomdepot.com (where I also buy my condoms) or else from Priscilla's, a "novelty" store in my area.Hope that helps Posted Image

#12 joolie

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 06:05 PM

hello and welcome hilary Posted Image
joolie :)

#13 SpAsMaN*

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 10:03 PM

Painful intercourse:http://www.clearpassage.com/INtercourse%20pain.htmI hope you appreciate the links i provide. Posted Image
---------------------------------
-->IBS INDUCED BY NSAIDS NAPROXEN
-->NSAIDS YOU SUCKS!!!
-Permanent discomfort/cecum&sigmoid stuck/trapped gas-
---->IBS-Type constipation normal transit time(diagnose with non-relaxing puborectalis december 2005)
--->Pubic nevralgia
***WORST PERMANENTLY SINCE RIFAXIMIN

#14 gothic_cowgirl

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 01:47 PM

Hi everyone - I'm new on this site and have found it quite helpful so far. This particular symptom is a special problem for me, as I have suffered with burning vaginal pain for 4 years plus. Repeated visits to OB-GYn and my normal doctor yielded NO RELIEF. It was NOT an infection, and it was NOT in my head. It turned out to be a muscle relaxation issue, as someone else on this thread mentioned. There are physical therapists that specialize in pelvic floor dysfunction, many of whom can also relieve this kind of pain. Mine got rid of the pain in six sessions. I now can manage it myself to keep the pain away by massaging certain trigger points and doing vaginal stretching exercises. I highly recommend you check with a physical therapist who is familiar with this kind of ailment. I found mine on this website: http://www.ic-network.com/md/ptlistings.htmlAs a bonus, my IBS also improved after treatment. It hasn't gone away, but it's not as severe as it was before I went in. All those muscles down there are related, ya know.Please try this. I HATED essentially not being able to have sex with my husband for the greater part of our marriage because of this stupid vaginal pain. Now I can finally have a pain-free sex life.

#15 SpAsMaN*

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 10:15 AM

The expert clearly stats the laxative does not cause dependency and it was more the condition itself who has worsen!I guess that laxative can irritated but not cause dependency.The link still works but you need to register.
---------------------------------
-->IBS INDUCED BY NSAIDS NAPROXEN
-->NSAIDS YOU SUCKS!!!
-Permanent discomfort/cecum&sigmoid stuck/trapped gas-
---->IBS-Type constipation normal transit time(diagnose with non-relaxing puborectalis december 2005)
--->Pubic nevralgia
***WORST PERMANENTLY SINCE RIFAXIMIN

#16 thome

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 11:17 PM

I tried to find the info on the website. I am not able. What I really want to know is,Did my long term use of senna cause a rectal prolaspe?T

#17 SpAsMaN*

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 12:23 AM

Probably not if these expert comments are true.Maybe it is caused by long term straining.However,i felt a little bit prolapse after a violent stomack flu with acute diarrhea.Sena is so irritating,i cant take it.
---------------------------------
-->IBS INDUCED BY NSAIDS NAPROXEN
-->NSAIDS YOU SUCKS!!!
-Permanent discomfort/cecum&sigmoid stuck/trapped gas-
---->IBS-Type constipation normal transit time(diagnose with non-relaxing puborectalis december 2005)
--->Pubic nevralgia
***WORST PERMANENTLY SINCE RIFAXIMIN

#18 thome

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 11:47 AM

Thanks for the reply. I will never take senna again. T

#19 BlueBird

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 03:17 AM

Boy am I glad I found this forum! I thought everything was just "falling apart" .... "down there". I have IBS...and I have hemmorroids and a fissure(s) For the past week I have been in agonizing pain and constantly sitting in hot baths and applying cream after cream after cream. Well....I think this is what has lead to my vaginal discomfort. I can't say dryness, cuz there is too much ointment down there so I can't tell anymore.....but stinging when I urinate and itching (like anal itching isnt enough!) I think everything may be linked....anybody have any input for me?

#20 newsjunkie

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 07:23 PM

To get back to the original question... I was having painful sex for a while and then it got worse after I started having IBS symptoms (I have pain and bloating, no D or C and, yes, I know now how lucky I am). I went to my OB/GYN and she suggested I change birth control. I had taken Depo Provera for years for painful periods (long before I was having regular sex) and it seemed as though I was drier down there than I should have been. We use Astroglide every time but it wears off eventually. She switched me to the Nuva Ring as it would deliver estrogen right in the vaginal area where I need it. It's so cool! A little icky but cool! It is a little ring you insert in yourself for 3 weeks. Way convenient (although we take it out for sex because it freaks me out to have so much in me Posted Image ). Anyway, it is 99% effective and delivers the same amount of hormones as the pill and you really can't screw it up.Also, I was suffering from vaginismus, the involuntarily tightening of the vaginal muscles. When you have painful sex a couple of times you can unconsciously tighten the muscles. I have heard of women doing it so bad that they remained virgins even after years of marriage! Don't know how they let it go that far but anyway...I am working to breathe slowly and deeply and concentrating on relaxing during intercourse. Between that, the Nuva Ring, using TONS of lube on both him AND me (little trick we just learned that the rest of the sexual world has probably known about forever), and having a kind, loving partner I am much more able to reasonably intercourse. My fiance loves, um, other stuff, too, but intercourse is his big thing. I love him so much so we are working together to make me physically comfortable.This information may not be helpful to you but it could be helpful to someone else. I know how hard it is when you IBS and feel terrible and you have a loving partner. We don't have sex often these days but we have fun when we do!





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